Grave Maintenance Survey Results 2019

In July 2019, all Grave Maintenance contract holders were invited to take part in a customer satisfaction survey to score and comment on the overall performance and service standards provided by the Council’s Grounds Maintenance.  A total of 112 questionnaires were sent out and 34 people responded, representing a response rate of 30%.  The results of the survey are detailed below.

 

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

N/A

Strongly Agree or Agree

Disagree or strongly disagree

I found it easy to contact Cemeteries Service Staff

8

12

0

0

9

100%

0%

The staff were polite and friendly and they understood my requirements

10

10

0

0

9

100%

0%

The information provided to me was clear and easy to understand

8

14

0

0

7

100%

0%

I believe I receive value for money

8

21

2

1

1

91%

9%

I am happy with the plants used in the planting scheme

12

18

0

1

2

97%

3%

I found it easy to find information on the Council’s website

4

8

0

0

17

100%

0%

Overall I am satisfied with the way maintenance of graves is currently carried out

12

17

2

1

0

91%

9%

I am very pleased with these results which I will be sharing with staff so that they can see how much their efforts are appreciated.  That said, there is scope for improvement in some areas and I will be working with colleagues to see how this can be achieved. 

If any of our customers wish to discuss the Grave Maintenance Service or have any suggestions on how we could do things differently, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01376 552525.  

Rick Sargeant

Assistant Manager (Street Scene)

Customer Feedback

Our Response

I am quite happy with the way the graves are looked after.

Great feedback – thank you!

Really pleased with the service, thank you! Visited my relative’s grave - looked beautiful.

Happy with the service. 

Generally very pleased with the service provided.

Since the last survey I have not had the need to contact the Cemeteries Team or the opportunity due to advancing years to visit the cemetery.  Apologies that I cannot therefore complete the survey.  I am sure all is fine as in the past.

 

Because we live up North we rely on the maintenance team to look after the grave in our absence and trust they do a fantastic job.

Although I am pleased with the maintenance of graves, I do not like the tree at the foot of our grave planted on that grave as it totally over look our space, could it be trimmed 

This tree self-seeded and has now been removed.

I believe that trees should have been pollarded to contain the size, as the spread of roots is dislodging the grave headstones. The size of the trees drop excessive leaf litter too.

We will report this to the Council’s Landscape Services Team so that they inspect the area and undertake remedial works where possible.      

The plants were mostly left lying on the soil surface, they were leggy and there were quite big gaps which surprised me as geraniums are cheap to acquire, my friend planted the plants into place for me.  The grass cutting is fine although this time I had to pull up a few foot high weeds near to the grave.

Our staff would not leave plants lying on the soil surface or big gaps in the planting and it sounds very much as if this is the result of damage by wildlife.

 

The bedding plant choices are changed frequently but we do have to consider things like soil type, frequency of watering required and plants that get eaten by wildlife.  We incorporate soil conditioner and carry out regular watering in the summer months, but it can still be challenging to achieve good displays in certain conditions.  

Dwarf daffodils are planted every winter to flower in the Spring, but the bulbs are removed when the next season’s planting is carried out.  

I felt that the standard of the plants used this year has dropped slightly.

Bulbs for spring daffs etc. would also be nice.

I find the service is quite inconsistent.  Sometimes I visit and it looks lovely, other times it can look very scruffy.  Any time I have dealt with staff they have always been very helpful.  

The issue I do have a real problem with is the very heavy handed threatening letter you receive when your payment is late (This year I did not receive an invoice at all) It is a service I choose to pay not have to pay.

Unfortunately it can take several cuts from the start of the grass cutting season to achieve a good standard of finish which may explain the comments.  This applies to all amenity grass cutting and so is not specific to the Council.  Cutting takes place on a 10-day cycle, subject to weather conditions.  

The letter referred to would have been generated automatically by our software when an invoice remains unpaid after a reasonable period of time.  Unfortunately, in this instance, it appears that the invoice went astray.  Ensuring that invoices are paid promptly helps keep costs down for everyone concerned.  

I visited on 16/6/19 - I was upset at the length of grass everywhere - and the amount of weeds - the cemetery didn't look well maintained.  The price increases year on year, but the service doesn't get better.  I have not had cause to contact any staff at the Cemetery or BDC.

It is not clear what area these comments refer to, but in 2011/12, the Council took a decision to reduce the maintenance in the older parts of its cemeteries and these have been allowed to naturalise to encourage wildlife such as birds, bees and butterflies.   

We are disappointed that the customer is unhappy with the standard of service provided and will be contacting her to see how we can improve.